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 Microhylid frog

© Prof. Indraneil Das/Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
© Prof. Indraneil Das/Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation

This microhylid frog is the smallest frog in the Old World (Asia, Africa and Europe). 

It lives and breeds in the pitchers plants (Nepenthes ampullaria) of the heath forests in Borneo. It is unusual in that only a few anurans have been recorded breeding in pitchers.  This species displays less webbing on its hind limbs, perhaps in order to better climb the slippery sides of pitcher plants. 

Although described only recently, this species has been seen before: previously, scientists had assumed that this species were juveniles of another type of frog, not adults of a new species.

Scientific Name

Microhyla nepenthicola sp. nov.


Matang Range, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo


Published August 2010 in Zootaxa

Field Notes

Given the small size of the species, finding specimens was particularly difficult: most were tracked down by their calls, which are harsh rasping notes. Males gather in and around the pitcher plants at dusk to call.

Listen to this 'amphibian symphony'    


Drs. Indraneil Das and Alexander Haas of the Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, and Biozentrum Grindel und Zoologisches Museum of Hamburg, respectively, with support from the Volkswagen Foundation.

LEARN MORE: Read a blog post from Dr. Das about his discovery

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